Youth engagement is the center of the foundation’s mission. We often talk about the connection through education or athletic participation. There is another program that is important to us. The Youth Grant Initiative was created seven years ago to give 7th and 8th graders a hands-on experience in grantmaking. They learn about the community and the role of nonprofits while reading applications and making funding recommendation to the foundation’s board. In 2022 the Foundation made the decision to add an intensive program for the alumni of the Youth Grant Initiative. The alumni that joined us the second year to learn more about grantmaking and to ultimately award the 2023 Bud Award are Nolan Fiereck, Loland Fleming, Marcus Fong and Kiran Cerwonka (pictured above from L to R with Lamar Winston from Innercity Basketball). Here is the presentation that was put together by the alumni for the Bud Award, presented on Nov 6th at the annual Impact Award celebration.
Through our experience at the youth grant initiative alumni cohort, the four of us learn important skills, and knowledge that will not only be helpful in selecting an organization to grant the Bud award to but will also be useful in the future.
Building from the skills we learned in the original YGI cohort, we got to view different reports of organizations that have received a grant from the Multnomah Athletic Foundation in the past. In those reports, we were able to see how those organizations were able to benefit themselves and the people they serve using the grant money. We got to learn about trust-based philanthropy, which advances equity between an organization in the grant funder and is a concept that guides the intentions of the Multnomah Athletic Foundation.
We also got to learn about the amazing Leland “Bud” Lewis, and his work and dedication he gave to his community. I would like to welcome my fellow YGI alumni Kiran to speak about Bud, who’s legacy and philanthropy lives on through this award.
The award we as the Youth Grant Initiative Alumni Cohort are giving out today is named for Bud Lewis who I knew my entire life. He lived two houses down from mine and when I was a toddler, he and his wife would take me for walks around the neighborhood. Me and a couple of my friends decorated his front porch on his 100th birthday. He always had a smile on his face and always made your day better.
Before he passed in 2021, he and his friends at the Multnomah Athletic Club would pick one organization every year that had already received funding from the Foundation to be given an extra $2,000 dollars. Now we as the alumni cohort get to decide the organization that receives the Bud award to honor his legacy of philanthropy and passion for athletics. Next my cohort member Marcus is going to tell you how we worked together to make our decision.
In order to reach our decision, we first analyzed the reports the 10 organizations submitted talking about how and where they used the grant money from the Multnomah athletic foundation. We then rated them at our homes on our given scoring sheet against the Bud Lewis award criteria.
When we next got together, we selected our top 3 and bottom 3, and used a process of dot voting to slightly narrow our options. This process helped us make our decision more off prioritization. When dot voting, we put a green dot on each of our top 3 choices, and a red dot on each of our bottom 3 choices. This helped us narrow our options down a little.
Next, we used the Fist of Five voting technique, where we went around in a circle, and put up a number, a fist meaning we thought that organization wasn’t as strong as others, and 5 fingers meaning the organization we thought was the best possible choice. This narrowed us down to 3 choices. We then rated each of our top 3 on a scale of 1-3, 3 being our top choice, 1 being our 3rd choice. This ended in a 3-way tie, meaning all options were very good.
We then went around again and talked and gave our personal opinions on which organization should receive the award and voted which one fit the bud award criteria best. Next Nolan will talk about our final decision.
This year we selected Innercity Basketball as the recipient of the Bud Lewis Award.
Innercity Basketball is a local organization working with underserved and at-risk kids, hosting both summer and school year basketball programs to combine physical fitness, mentorship, and both academic and social support. They work with elementary, middle school, and high school kids, with the vast majority being both from both low-income households and gang impacted areas.
By providing both a safe place and healthy outlet for these kids’ time and energy, the organization gives mentorship and a positive social group through basketball. Going beyond the sports program and academic support, Innercity Basketball focuses on addressing the urgent needs that they view within the community.
This organization is one of the only programs of their kind in Portland working with at risk and gang impacted youth. Because of their focus on athletics, leadership, diversity, and sportsmanship, Innercity Basketball was the organization that we thought best fit the Bud Lewis award.
We hope the $2,000 grant can help to continue this organization’s great work and make an impact on the community.
To learn more about the Youth Grant Initiative and the Bud Award visit our grants page here.